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Iowa Corn Growers Association Thanks Both House and Senate for Passing the Farm Bill

JOHNSTON, Iowa - February 4, 2014- The Iowa Corn Growers Association applauds both the House and Senate for quick passage of the new 5 year Farm Bill. In particular, Iowa's elected leaders including Senator Harkin and Congressman Braley, King, Latham, and Loebsack were instrumental in moving the previously stalled bill forward.

"We are pleased to see some common sense finally prevail in Washington, D.C. in order to reach this compromise," said Roger Zylstra, a farmer from Central Iowa and the current President of the Iowa Corn Growers Association. "We are particularly satisfied that we are maintaining and strengthening crop insurance along with a market orientated farm safety net. As we approach planting, it is reassuring to see some certainty in farm planning."

Important provisions of the new Farm Bill include:

* Eliminates direct payments

* An option to participate in either the revenue-based Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) program or a Price Loss Coverage (PLC) program with fixed reference prices.

* Improvements in the federal crop insurance program to include a Supplemental Coverage Option for area coverage up to 86 percent and the Enterprise Unit Discount Pilot Program becoming a permanent program.

* Consolidation of 23 previous conservation programs into 13 with a focus on working lands.

* Conservation compliance tied to federal crop insurance with no provision for adjusted gross income eligibility criteria to determine premium subsidies.

* Maintenance of export promotion programs, including the Market Access Program (MAP) and the Foreign Market Development Program (FMD).

* Continuation of the combined authorization of both agricultural and nutrition programs; a linkage that has been essential in every farm bill since 1974.

"As a farmer, I am familiar with hard work and long waits for rewards. This Farm Bill took patience, but we were happy to see certain provisions in crop insurance and conservation that will allow us to continue farming the best way possible. No bill is ever perfect, but we believe this legislation is a step in the right direction." said Zylstra.

The Congressional Budget Office announced the net savings of the bill to be $16.6 billion over ten years. That makes agriculture the only sector contributing to deficit reduction during this Congress.

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The ICGA is a membership organization, lobbying on agricultural issues on behalf of its over 7,600 farmer members.

Amanda DeJong
Senior Policy Advisor
Iowa Corn Growers Association




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